What role should science communicators play in the movement towards knowledge and innovation based societies? Is it to summon up space where we might host and facilitate complex scientific, ethical, technological and philosophical discussions across communities and disciplines? Opportunities to engage with science in accessible and informal settings have become vital opportunities for those seeking to contribute to, and actively participate in the culture of science outside of school. How can we create environments which unsettle traditional power structures and encourage open discussion?
This presentation will explore real world examples in creating culturally relevant and engaging science learning opportunities through the use of art and purposeful dialogue. We will examine the function of visual art in shaping conversations at the local and national level when mediated by professional science communicators. The presentation will take a critical look at the role of the science communicator as guide, provocateur and fellow learner when exploring new and complex ideas in a non-formal learning environment.
Art has the potential to empower individuals and communities, and act as a powerful catalyst for change. Coupled with the praxis of learner/artefact mediation, it is a valuable instrument in the exploration of self, the affirming of identity, but also the expression and critique of complex ideas. Exploring the utility of this approach will give us as practitioners, and researchers fresh insights into the future of collaborative science and innovation.
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